When I first heard this comment from an independent author, it made me laugh, but then I started to really think about it, and the more I did, the more it actually seemed as if traditional publishing IS starting to become a vanity option for authors.
Let’s look at some of the comparisons to see what I mean:
Ten years ago, authors would ‘vanity’ publish for the prestige of having a ‘real’ book published.
Today, authors who traditionally publish, do so for the ‘prestige’ of having a ‘real’ book published.
Ten years ago, vanity published authors paid thousands of dollars to get their books printed, and often had hundreds of pre-printed books cluttering up their garages because they couldn’t sell them to bookstores.
Today, publishers often have hundreds (or even thousands) of pre-printed books cluttering up their warehouses, since there are no longer many (any?) bookstores to send them to.
Ten years ago, a vanity press author would be unlikely to ever make money from their work.
Today, due to draconian contracts, most traditionally published authors are never likely to make much money from their work.
Could it be perhaps, that self publishing is actually becoming a better, more enlightened, option for smart authors today? An option that actually compensates us fairly for our work AND allows us to reach an audience directly.
You know what I think. What say you?